Monday, October 28, 2013

A FABULOUS Fall Weekend

 Saturday morning dawned bright and early for me. Saturdays are my long run days, and in order to get all the miles in, my alarm clock must be set for an unreasonable hour.  I'm training with two other sweet friends for the Kiawah Island Marathon on December 14th. I'm super excited about it AND the promise of a nice FLAT race course;) We shall see. 
Anyone else doing long runs right now? I'd love to hear how you get through them?
After I got home from my run, it was time to get my troops up, moving, and off to their soccer games. This Saturday was a "divide and conquer" kind-of day! With three soccer games each weekend, we've been blessed that not too many have actually been scheduled at the same time. Unfortunately, this Saturday was NOT one of those days. Corban's game was in Concord at the same time the other games were scheduled here.  So Shane took Sophie, Hudson and Riley to their games while Addy-Kate and I headed to Cor's. 
  I LOVE watching Corban's team play. At this age, they really get what the game is all about and it's so fun watching the team work together. His team gets better and better each game and I am so proud of all their hard work. Saturday, all that hard work paid off and they walked away with a WIN!! Cor scored THREE goals during the game, which in
soccer lingo is a "hat trick";)
 Saturday evening, we headed to the Annual Pumpkin Carve hosted by our sweet friends,
Jeff and Stephanie.
Riley helped me make these spider cupcakes to take to the party. Shane laughed when he saw them and said they looked more like elmo than spiders! HA!
Oh well...Riley and I thought they were cute;)
Okay... so let me just tell you... our sweet friends know how to throw a great fall party.
 I mean...just as soon as we pick out our pumpkin from the patch, our kids start asking WHEN the pumpkin carve party will be!
   And who could blame them...

with delicious food, fun games, a candy-filled pinata, a pop-corn buffet, a movie under the stars, and a fireworks display to look forward too!
Yeah...I told you they know how to throw a party;)
Once again, THANK YOU Davis family for yet another wonderful night of sweet fellowship and even sweeter memories!!!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Friday morning, Riley was honored at school as a "Terrific Kid"!!!
  Each month, a different student from each classroom is chosen based on three things: showing a positive attitude, exhibiting the character trait of the month, and being a responsible citizen.
This month, the character trait was HONOR!
  We are so... proud of our boy for being recognized for this particular character trait!
Riley is such a sweetheart and I am thrilled to know he does his best to be respectful and kind at school. 
More importantly though, my deepest desire is that Riley would not only be considered "honorable" at school, but he would find true joy in bringing honor to his Lord and Savior in all he does. I pray Riley would know and understand what "true honor" means and that THAT would be his greatest achievement!!!
Romans 12:9-13
 Let love be genuine. Hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,  serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.   
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

After the "Terrific kid" breakfast at school, the little ones and I had a fun play date to attend. My sister, B had scheduled a tour at their neighborhood fire station, and invited us (and some other friends) to come along!
The kids were sooooo excited!!!
Of course, Hudson insisted that Spot (his very special fire dog) come along for the tour as well!
 The firefighters were incredibly patient and gracious as our sea of preschoolers invaded their station.
 They invited the kids to see where they live,  allowed them to play with their tools,
 and then let everyone take turns driving the firetruck!
It was such an amazing day AND one my kids won't soon forget!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Calling all super hero's

Monday night was "Super Hero Night" at our local Chic-fil-a!
  Come dressed in your "super hero" best, and you received an entire kids meal for FREE!!! 
 So we rounded up our hero attire (thanks to Halloween, 2011) and headed out for an action packed night! 
 The kids really got into the fun and as we drove to the restaurant I could hear them chatting in the back of the van...
Sophie leans over and says to Riley, "Pretend we are in a hurry... because we just received a secret code telling us that there are people at the restaurant who are going to be eaten by a mean cow...and we have to save them, okay?"

Yup, that's my girl!


Panther Pride!

 Crisp Air,  Pretty Leaves, Sweaters & Boots, Pumpkins, Coffee...
and FOOTBALL!!!!!
Who could ask for anything more!
 Go PANTHERS!!!!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

At the Patch

Yesterday, Sophie's preschool class took a field trip to the pumpkin patch. Families were also invited to attend and join their preschooler for a fun day down on the farm.
 Of course, Hudson and Addy-Kate could not have been more excited to spend the day with Sophie and her classmates. And Sophie was quite the "host" as she took it upon herself to formally introduce each of us to all of her new friends. 

First up for the day was a bumpy hayride around the entire farm. As we rode, the kids had fun "eye spying" several different animals hidden along the way.  

After the hayride, we headed over to the corn maze. The kids had a blast running through the tall corn, stopping only to get their map stamped at each station.

Next... it was time to hit the patch!  S, H, and AK each had their hearts set on finding that perfect pumpkin;)  They moseyed back and forth along the rows, perusing the patch for their pumpkin. After looking it all over for a while, they finally settled on their favorites.

With bright orange pumpkins in hand, we headed over to the picnic area to enjoy lunch AND fresh apple slushies!

After our picnic was cleaned up, we played  a little while longer soaking up every bit of sunshine  we could.  I really enjoyed sitting back for a moment and watching Sophie play.  She absolutely LOVES each of her class mates and it's such a blessing to see her flourish in this new setting. She adores her teachers too and I feel so blessed to have them apart of her life as well. She has already learned so much in just the short time she has been in school, and I can't wait to see how much more she will grow as the year continues. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all things pumpkin this time of year!
 Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin crisp, pumpkin cookies... you get the point;) 
 And I cannot tell you how excited I was to see our local SAM's club carrying canned pumpkin in bulk this year. 
I stock up every time I go;)

  Needless to say, we've been doing a lot of pumpkin baking at this house. 
I definitely have my very favorite pumpkin recipes that are my"go too" year after year. They've been tweaked, tested,  and kid-approved!
These muffins are so moist, so delicious, and the kids devour them like it's the last thing they will ever eat. 
{I also like that you can substitute whole wheat flour for the white without sacrificing ANY of the taste. That makes them kind-of healthy, right;)}
And speaking of healthy, HA...
I've also had fun this fall finding a few new pumpkin recipes to try. The big boys had the day off of school on Monday, so for breakfast we decided to give this recipe a whirl.
 {The only "tweaking" I did to this one was to add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the egg mixture.}
This was definitely a hit and one we will make again and again! 
Recipe photo
Next up for us to try this week are these...Pumpkin Doughnuts
Can you say..."ooo-la-la"?!?!
I'll let you know how they turn out.
"Happy FALL Baking" from our family to yours;)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

An Apple a Day...

We came home from the apple orchard with well over 100 apples. That's a whole lot of apples to eat...even for this hungry brood! So if the old saying is true, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!" well... then we should be set for a good L-O-N-G while! 
Most of the apples we'll just enjoy on their own, but it's also been fun finding new apple recipes to try out. 
Yesterday the littles and I got busy in the kitchen and had ourselves an apple kind-of day.
We tried out a new recipe that I had found for Apple Cinnamon Rolls. We made them ahead on Friday so we could enjoy them on Saturday morning for breakfast. were absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!! If you have any apples on hand, I highly recommend this recipe!!
 Not only did we bake the cinnamon rolls, but we also made chocolate dipped apples as well. The kids had so much fun dipping the apples and then covering them in sprinkles. 
Needless to say, there was a whole lot a dippin', a whole lot a sprinklin', and a whole lot a lickin'!!
  Oh, they weren't very pretty, but the were soooo YUMMY!!!!
Most of our apples were for the eating, but we also had fun doing a little crafting with them as well.  
 How cute are these "apple basket" hand-prints?!?!
 And how could we call it an "apple day" with out a little apple stamping too!
What a FUN and also YUMMY Friday;)

The Apple Tree
Away up high
In an apple tree
Two red apples
Smiled at me
I shook that tree
As hard as I could
Down came those apples
And mmm were they good!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Family Day, 2013

We are very grateful to be part of such a wonderful church. A church where the Word of God is boldly  proclaimed, and where we are encouraged to grow in our own  personal relationship with the Lord.
It's also a place where our family experiences sweet fellowship. 
Sunday afternoon, we attended "Family Day" at our church. This annual fall event has quickly become one of our family's very favorite things! I mean, who wouldn't enjoy an entire afternoon spent jumping on the bounce houses, climbing a rock wall, playing soccer,  flag football, and even kick-ball?!?!
 Throw in the popcorn, cake walk, dessert contest, homemade bar-b-que, and precious friends and it's easy to understand  why we love "family day" soooo much!
I seriously can't think of a sweeter way to spend an afternoon;)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Apples green and Apples red

Fall is by far MY most favorite time of the year AND for me apple pickin' at Sky Top Orchard is THE highlight of the entire season.
 Saturday afternoon, after soccer games were over, we loaded up the mini-van and made the two hour trek up to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina!
 This was our third year visiting Sky Top Orchard and just like years did not disappoint!

And just for fun...
here's our little family in 2011, 

Sweet Goodness...the kids are getting BIG! 
Our dear friends, the Robinson's have joined our family (or rather we've joined them) EVERY year for apple picking. The trip just wouldn't be the same with out them. 
Of course, our kids always have much more fun when friends come along;)
So with thoughts of apple crisp, apple pie, apple sauce, and apple muffins on our minds,
 we headed out to the orchard excited to fill our baskets to the brim.
The kids were so helpful as they hunted for the ripest and juiciest of apples.
But it was sweet Hudson who definitely took home the "best picker" award for the day! 
Although...I think he ate just as many as he picked;)
Sophie, on the other hand, was much more into the climbin' than the pickin. 
She spent the majority of the afternoon IN the trees rather than on the ground!.
 As for the "littlest picker" of our bunch, sweet Addy-Kate was a champ. Although, she did her fair share of snackin too;)

And the reward for all our hard work in the orchard: HOT, FRESH, apple doughnuts awaiting us at the top of the hill;) 
A SUPER SWEET ending to our wonderful apple-pickin' adventure!!!  
Already looking forward to our visit next year!!

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
 Proverbs 25:11